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Vana Gović Janša? Interview with Janez Janša, Janez Janša, Janez Janša

In 2007, three artists; Davide Grassi, Emil Hrvatin and Žiga Kariž, took the name of Janez Janša, who at the time was Slovenia’s PM and the president of the Slovenian Democratic Party. This act has produced numerous effects on personal lives of three artists, on public and political sphere, and on the concept of art in general. By changing their names, these three artists have let art to occupy their lives permanently, but also the lives of those who get in touch with them. Since then, art has been functioning along the same principles as life itself. Accordingly, art has become as unpredictable as life itself. Their exhibition titled Work, hosted at the end of 2013 by Rijeka’s Mali salon gallery as a part of Smuggling Anthologies project, has served as a motivation for our talk with the artists Janez Janša, Janez Janša and Janez Janša.1

work and free time. Post-fordism, cognitive capitalism, non-material work are the phenomena by which we say that it is not the notion of work that has changed, but life itself has turned into nothing than mere work. J. J.: It is best shown by what present-day companies require from their workers. It seems that the companies adopt the lifestyle of artists: today’s workforce has to be flexible, always at hand, full of ideas and energy; it has to be sociable, it has to love its job and to be highly motivated, always to wear a smile and never to stop working. Who else but an artist has exactly these qualities? J. J.: Yes, when artists attend an opening of an exhibition or an after-party, they actually work. They broaden their horizons, hoping to leave an impression on a curator, producer, critic, or a minister... A freelancer’s You decided to call the Mali salon exhi- work has certainly become a non-stop aubition Work, introducing it by the words: dition for getting new jobs. “For us, there is no difference between J. J.: We decided to title our exhibition our work, our art and our lives; in that Work because it mainly displays works from sense, we are not different from you”.2 our everyday lives. We haven’t had any inCan you explain in what way you treat fluence on most of these works – they have developed themselves, as a collateral efyour work, art and life as one? fect of our name change. Even when we J. J.: One of the basic features of neoliber- haven’t worked in the strictest sense, life alism is the removal of distinction between has been “working” for us. 1 Janez Janša is a Slovenian politician who was Prime Minister of Slovenia from 2004 to 2008 and again from 2012 to 2013. He has led the Slovenian Democratic Party since 1993. Janša was Minister of Defense from 1990 to 1994, holding that post during the Slovenian War of Independence (June–July 1991). On June 5, 2013 the District Court in Ljubljana convicted Janez Janša of corruption and sentenced him to two years in prison. 2 The statement is cited from the letter, sent by the three artists to the Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Janša in 2007, notifying him of their name changes. The letter is now part of art documentation by Janša, Janša and Janša.


Smuggling Anthologies Reader  

The Smuggling Anthologies project, held from 2013 to 2015 on the "interstitial territory" of three European countries (Croatia, Slovenia and...

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